Senate debates

Thursday, 10 December 2020


NT Independent

7:14 pm

Photo of Sam McMahonSam McMahon (NT, Country Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 947.

Leave granted.

I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

  (i) Australian journalist Peter Greste recently stated the Northern Territory (NT) Government 'has set a dangerous precedent' with its continued press ban on one news organisation, NT Independent: 'I'm very concerned. The NT Independent is a legitimate newspaper, a legitimate news organisation...And so to ban the NT Independent seems to be frankly a ridiculous step and something that I think is quite dangerous when it comes to press freedom...It sets a really dangerous precedent and I'm really uncomfortable about the way it's been unfolding',

  (ii) the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance have also repeatedly denounced the NT Government's stance, which it has labelled as 'vindictive', and have offered to mediate,

  (iii) since April, the NT Government has banned the online publication NT Independent from entering press conferences and media events, and government departments don't respond to the publication's questions, and

  (iv) when asked on ABC Radio this Monday morning if the NT Government would take up the Alliance for Journalists' Freedom's mediation offer, Mr Gunner declined; and

(b) calls on the NT Gunner Government to acknowledge that the NT Independent is a news organisation, employing journalists, and reverse its ban on the organisation attending press conferences and media events.

Question agreed to.